As early as the 14th century, stories glorifying the exotic palaces of Indian rulers began to circulate in the West. Even today, they are magical places — small towns rather than single buildings, in which the Hindu and Muslim rulers of the subcontinent dispensed their laws and enjoyed their wealth.
The beauty and atmosphere of these palaces is displayed here in the exceptional photographs of Antonio Martinelli, a painter and architect, who enjoyed unrivalled access to the buildings. George Michell, a recognized authority on Indian architecture and art, evokes life within these complexes and describes their many elements: defences; spacious courtyards; temples and mosques; private apartments and service quarters.
The Royal Palaces of India is a superb record of the palaces, which are receiving increasing numbers of visitors each year, living witnesses to a regal aspiration to re-create heaven on earth.